The instructions that came with Tomas Fujiwara's 2019 release, 7 Poets Trio (RogueArt), read, "I'd like to tell you as little as possible about this music before you listen to it... and create your own scenes for which these songs can be soundtracks." The same advice is warranted for Fujiwara's 7 Poets Trio follow up recording Pith.
Historically, the talented composer and drummer writes music with his band mate's individual voices in mind. He does so in ensembles such as his Sextet, Plustet, Triple Double, The Hook Up, his duos with Taylor Ho Bynum, and his contributions to Thumbscrew with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek, to name just a few. Same can be said for this trio with Patricia Brennan and Tomeka Reid. This unique lineup of vibraphone, cello, and drums is a perfect soundtrack generator for the imagination.
"Solace" finds Reid pulling notes much like Oscar Pettiford, meaning her cello models a standard bass sound, with Brennan and Fujiwara circling melody as the composition flowers. The trio can deliver a chamber-like sound on "Breath" or rock out as with "Swelter," whose driving pulse unravels into a maelstrom before reassembling itself into a kind of order. The dreamlike "Resolve" is painted with eerie bowed cello atmospherics and the tattoo of thunderous drums to create a ghostly soundscape. The one (sort of) straight-ahead jazz piece, "Josho," swings with a nonchalance you might associate with a mid-1960s Bobby Hutcherson performance. It's quiet coolness is hip personified. Throughout Fujiwara's drums form a three way conversation with cello and vibes, one generating individualized soundtracks for your ears.
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